The Pentagon says ISIS is “well-positioned” to make a comeback

It looks like ISIS isn’t quite as defeated as President Donald Trump claims. Over the past eight months, Trump has repeatedly touted his administration’s success in defeating the terrorist organization and destroying its so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria. In April, for example, he tweeted that “the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our ‘Thank you America?’” Yet Trump’s own military now says ISIS is still worryingly strong. On Thursday, a Pentagon spokesperson said that the terrorist group…

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Have Ben Affleck and Lindsay Shookus split up?

Is Ben Affleck back on the dating market? Affleck, 46, and “Saturday Night Live” producer Lindsay Shookus, 38, may no longer be an item, with Page Six reporting that the duo has split up after more than a year of dating. Fueling additional speculation about the Cambridge native’s relationship status: Shookus has deleted her Instagram account, and TMZ reported that, on Aug. 9, a moving van was spotted outside Affleck’s $19 million Pacific Palisades mansion. That’s not all. Affleck reportedly celebrated his 46th birthday with his three kids from his marriage to actress…

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Eric and Jessie James Decker grabbed dinner at a local steakhouse

Patriots wide receiver Eric Decker reportedly hasn’t had the strongest training camp, with the eight-year veteran plagued by drops in practice. Perhaps Decker hopes his “lucky charms” will turn his fortunes around. Decker’s wife, country singer Jessie James Decker, tweeted, “Daddy’s lucky charms en route !” on Tuesday. Daddy’s lucky charms en route ! — Jessie James Decker (@JessieJDecker) August 14, 2018 Later that day, Eric, Jessie, the couple’s three children, and Jessie’s mother, Karen Parker, were all at Patriot Place for dinner at the Foxborough location of Davio’s Northern Italian…

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Elizabeth Banks set to produce, star in Prince story

Another Daily Beast long-form article is set to hit the big screen. Deadline was first to report that Massachusetts native Elizabeth Banks will star in and produce “Queen For a Day,’’ the story of MTV’s “Win a Date With Prince’’ competition in 1986. The movie is the result of a Daily Beast piece from 2017, “When Prince Made a Chambermaid His Queen for the Day.’’ Lisa Barber won the competition by making the 10,000th call to MTV, which also meant that Prince’s musical romance, “Under the Cherry Moon,’’ would premiere in Barber’s small…

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Amy Schumer celebrates six months of marriage to Mass. chef husband on Instagram

Amy Schumer celebrated six months of marriage to her Massachusetts chef husband, Chris Fischer, with an Instagram post Monday of herself, Fischer, and their dog, Tati. “Married 6 months today. I love you more every day. sorry my fart woke us up this morning,” the “I Feel Pretty” actress and comedian wrote in her caption. Schumer and Fischer tied the knot in a small beachside ceremony in Malibu in February. Celebrities Larry David, Chelsea Handler, and Jennifer Lawrence can all be spotted in Schumer’s Instagram posts about the big day.…

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A Waltham magician is blowing minds on ‘America’s Got Talent’

At various points during Waltham magician Shin Lim’s second performance on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent’’ last month, actress and guest judge Olivia Munn’s jaw fell open. For his card trick, Lim asked Munn to hide the ace of spades under her hand. After a series of camera-close-up, sleight-of-hand moves, the routine ended when Munn lifted her hand to find all four aces. She looked honestly spooked. “Woooah!’’ judge Howie Mandel shouted at one point during Lim’s act. At another, fellow judge and Spice Girl Mel B pounded the table with…

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Questions loom over Tesla deal after Elon Musk reveals link to Saudi Arabia

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s elaboration on his plan to engineer a buyout of the electric car maker could get the Silicon Valley maverick into legal trouble by revealing that the deal is far more uncertain than how he initially described it in his brash tweet last week. If everything falls into place, Musk plans to buy Tesla from any existing shareholders willing to sell using money raised through Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. Until his Monday blog post, Musk hadn’t identified the source for financing a…

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Tesla CEO Musk taunts short sellers amid legal scrutiny

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk used Twitter late Friday to taunt investors who have bet against his company, even though his previous Twitter comments have spurred a government investigation and shareholder lawsuits. The tweets are aimed at “shorts,” or investors who borrowed shares of Tesla and immediately sold them with the hope that Tesla’s share price would fall. That would allow the shorts to buy back the stock at a lower price, return the shares to the lender, and pocket the difference. Shorting a stock can temporarily lower…

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Changes sought by Baker cloud future of proposed laws

BOSTON (AP) — In their scramble to approve numerous major bills before formal sessions ended for the year on July 31, Massachusetts lawmakers failed to leave themselves time to properly consider objections that Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has raised with some of the proposed new laws. As a result, several measures that passed in the last-minute rush, including ones that call for taxing short-term rentals and better protecting consumers against data breaches, remain in a sort of legislative limbo — with no clear indication what might happen next. The House…

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BMW apologizes over engine fires caused by hardware problem

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — BMW AG’s Korean unit apologized Monday over engine fires that prompted recalls and a probe, seeking to allay concerns over images of cars engulfed in flames. BMW Korea Chairman Kim Hyo-joon said the German carmaker will fully cooperate with the transport ministry’s investigation and complete emergency safety inspections of its vehicles by next week. More than 20 cases of BMW fires have been reported in South Korea, mostly in July. Images and videos of BMW sedans engulfed in smoke and gutted by fires caused alarm…

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